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Child Soldiers in Syria: A Growing Problem

Gulan Media June 29, 2023 News
Child Soldiers in Syria: A Growing Problem

The recruitment of child soldiers in Syria is a growing problem, according to a new report by the United Nations. The report found that the number of children recruited by armed groups in Syria has risen steadily over the past three years, from 813 in 2020 to 1,296 in 2021 and 1,696 in 2022.

Among the groups that have been accused of recruiting children are the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, and the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al Sham. The report also cited 25 cases of child recruitment by Syrian government forces and pro-government militias.

In some cases, children are forcibly conscripted, while others join armed groups voluntarily for ideological or financial reasons. Once recruited, children are often used as fighters, spies, or porters. They are also at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The report called on all armed groups in Syria to stop recruiting children and to release any children who are currently in their ranks. It also urged the international community to provide more support to programs that help to reintegrate child soldiers into civilian life.

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